David Newman comments on UN report

This report is a fairly outdated and probably expensive UN report stating the obvious.

We already knew these data from a UK report published over a year ago which shows how Britons throw away 30 percent of the food they buy, even when it is perfectly edible. But so what ?

When we go to the developing countries, where people are presumably poorer than in Britain and therefore likely to reject less of a prime commodity like food, well (guess who ?), UNEP in a report in 2005 tells us that organic (including food) waste accounts for up to 70 percent of urban waste.

Greenpeace reported on fisheries by-catch over a decade ago, demonstrating how many millions of tonnes are wasted annually.
So what has the new UNEP report added ?

What it could have said was : if we can correctly manage and capture the potential in food waste we could:
A) produce energy
B) produce fertilisers
C) reduce CO2 emissions

Until food is so expensive that we cannot afford to waste it all the rest is just talk. The fact is food is too cheap and this comes down to how we obscenely subsidise food production, especially in the rich countries. But that is another question waste managers cannot ask.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I suppose David is reffering to the report made by Eunomia and presented by Dominic Hogg, in the ISWA Beacon Conference in Perugia, last year: "Exodus Market Research (2008) The Food We Waste,
Report for WRAP, April 2008". Indeed, amazing results, but... proves that we have completely wrong habits when it comes to food production & cocnsumption. Green economy is gaining ground nowadays, so a sector that has to become greener is the food industry.
Sotiria Skoulaxinou / EPEM S.A